Text Talk Act Contest Winners for Spring 2016!

We are pleased to announce the contest winners for Text, Talk, Act Spring 2016!

  • Coppin State University Active Minds; Baltimore, MD (Small College Category)
  • Active Minds at Ithaca College; Massapequa, NY (Medium College Category)
  • University of California, Irvine’s  No Strings Attached; Irvine, CA (Large College Category)
  • Sam Rayburn High School; Pasadena, TX (Middle/High School Category)
  • Creating Community Solutions-KC; Kansas City, MO (Non-Profit Community Organization Category)

Coppin State University; Baltimore MD

Coppin State University is an urban, residential liberal arts HBCU (Historically Black College and University) located in northwest Baltimore City, founded in 1900. Coppin has approximately 3,000 students, and is named for pioneer educator Fanny Jackson Coppin, who was born a slave in our nation's capital.

Coppin's Active Minds student organization, founded in 2011 by Dr. Judith Kehe, actively promotes mental health awareness on campus, and engages students in activities and discussions to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness in the Black community.

Active Minds President Ms. Wanda Parks, faculty liaisons Dr. Katherine Cameron & Prof. Julie Manley (Applied Psychology & Rehabilitation Counseling Dept.), and Dr. Beverly J. O'Bryant, Dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, teamed up with CSU Honors College students to plan and implement this spring's Text, Talk, Act (TTA) event on campus, which  involved having discussions in classrooms and public spaces, handing out buttons and engaging students in open conversation.

The impact of TTA this year has been to continue reaching new students, making it more comfortable for them to talk about their mental health.  Also, to increase awareness of services available for students on campus and in the community because Black Mental Health matters!

Active Minds at Ithaca College; Massapequa, NY

Active Minds at Ithaca College is a mental health awareness advocacy group and a chapter of the national foundation, Active Minds, Inc. They organize events, fundraisers, and campaigns every semester to stomp stigma towards mental illness at Ithaca College and in the Ithaca community.

To make Text, Talk, Act a success, they created posters, used word of mouth, and did plenty of social media promotion to make sure people knew about the event. They also reserved a small room and got plenty of comfort food to ensure that the environment for the discussion was a safe space.

Text, Talk, Act has been one of Active Minds @ IC's favorite events each semester, and reminds them to keep discussing mental health in their everyday lives--as that's truly the best way to stomp stigma around us!

University of California, Irvine’s No Strings Attached;  Irvine, CA

No Strings Attached is a peer support organization established by connecting those who share similar life experiences and challenges. In addition to mental and emotional support, the club provides other benefits, such as expanding one's network, finding a community, building life skills, and inspiring one another to learn and grow. Students of all backgrounds are welcome to join and share their stories, experiences, and struggles.

The organization has weekly workshops and for the Text, Talk, Act event, they used that as the basis of discussion at the workshop that week. Prior to the workshop, they promoted the event with a Facebook event page as well as the No Strings Attached group page and personal pages.

The project prompted a deep and engaging discussion on a various aspects of mental health and stigma. Many voiced their opinions on the topic raised and shared their personal experiences. The questions and anonymous poll also allowed members to learn more about each other and brought the community closer as a whole.

Sam Rayburn High School; Pasadena, TX

Text, Talk, Act was organized by Sam Rayburn High School Counselor, Audra Ramos,  DECA sponsor and teacher Joy Johnson, and her DECA students. Students in grades 9-12, participated in Text, Talk, Act, facilitated by their  classroom teachers. This implementation has led to a greater awareness of the importance of mental health and has helped to reduce the stigma associated with it.

Creating Community Solutions-KC ; Kansas City, MO

Creating Community Solutions-KC is one of six lead sites for the national dialogue on mental health. We have engaged hundreds of community members in developing an action plan for mental health, with a focus on young people. They have convened action teams to conduct research and develop proposals, and now are working to put those projects in place. The co-sponsors are the mayors of two Kansas Cities: Mayor Sly James (Missouri) and Mayor Mark Holland (Kansas), and the project director is Consensus. They are guided by a planning team of young adults and leaders in the mental health field.

Creating Community Solutions-KC held the April 19 Text, Talk, Act event on the Rockhurst University campus. The event was a partnership between three groups: Creating Community Solutions-KC, Active Minds – Rockhurst University, and reStart, Inc. A team from the three groups met several times to prepare. Each group conducted outreach and used social media, flyers, banners, texts and other methods to invite people aged 18-24 to attend.

Mia Zanaboni, an Active Minds member, said, “I thought one big strength was encouraging people to sit with someone that they did not know. It enhanced the experience, driving home the idea that mental illnesses do not have to be a battle that people face alone. It was also fun to get to know new people.” Rita Carr, with reStart, said, “The participants I spoke to said they had good conversations and thought the topic was interesting.”

Along with the text conversations, Creating Community Solutions-KC gave people the chance to write down on cards what “nobody knows” and “what helps” in terms of mental health. They dropped their cards into a box when they left, and a volunteer taped it to butcher paper hung on the wall. The process was entirely anonymous.  Tori Zanaboni, outgoing president of Active Minds-Rockhurst, said, “The ‘What Helps’ and ‘Nobody Knows’ walls were a powerful tool. We hung them up during our Festival of Student Achievement and got a lot of good feedback about the impact those words had.”

The impact of Text, Talk, Act on Creating Community Solutions-KC is only beginning. They are looking for new ways to get young people and young adults in conversation about mental health, many times a year, for years to come. Their team believes in the Text, Talk, Act model and the impact it can have on lives.